Woof. I don’t even know where to begin on this one. Dave Cockrum is a fantastic artist, his X-Men designs are some of the best in comics history. And the art in this story is fantastic. Nightcrawler looks RIGHT, and seeing him in the classic costume just makes me miss the character. Back in the day, the swashbuckler version of the fuzzy elf was so infectious, I think he had to be everyone’s favorite. The 80’s stylings aren’t too obvious here, but Kitty Pryde has some really good 80’s hair and makeup, and Magik is rocking a Michael Jackson shirt. Fantastic.
So the art? Wonderful. Fun. Zany. But the story? Ouch.
I’m not sure if Cockrum thought this was funny, but it’s really a sort of strange take off on Wizard of Oz maybe? John Carter? Nightcrawler is trapped in another dimension, rescuing princesses and fighting off shark-man sorcerers. But everything is so… silly. The slang is weird. The “plays” on words like L’n D’n Tw’n, why bother? I honestly can’t figure out what the goal was with this one!
Surely Nightcrawler had some kind of rogues’ gallery that he could have been featured in a better debut mini than this? What an odd choice.
Not to belittle Cockrum, who is a legend, but I can see why this one hasn't been collected.